Bill Winke, an outdoor writer who lives in Michigan, goes to work in the outdoors daily -- hunting and fishing for a living.
Question: How did you start out becoming an outdoor writer?
Answer: When my wife and I got married, we took an extended honeymoon after both quitting our jobs where we worked at the same company in Michigan. We traveled all over the United States, spending 6 to 9 months on the road. Along the way we met Spencer Land, who owned High Country Archery, and he offered me a job working in Tennessee. While I was there, I met Greg Tinsley who was working P.R there and was the advertising and marketing manager. Greg left and went to "Petersen's Bowhunting" magazine. When we worked together, he encouraged me to get into the business. After Greg took that job, I started writing for him. My writing career evolved from there.
Question: Your first writing assignment was "Petersen's Bowhunting?"
Answer: That's correct.
Question: How did you build your business from there?
Answer: I just dabbled in some other areas. I was a financial planner for 6 months from the time I wrote my first article until the time I decided to jump into writing full time. Financial Planning didn't work out for me. I particularly didn't enjoy the sales aspect of it. But, I didn't want to keep the engineering door of opportunity open behind me. That was one of those things where you take the easy road out if you leave it as an option, and I didn't want to be a mechanical engineer unless I had to. I was looking for a real lifestyle, one of self-employment. However, my wife and I were down to our last dollars with only about $150 in the bank. It was sink or swim. I'd always said that fear is one of the best motivators, and I just dove in and started sending out article ideas to editors. Every assignment I got, I danced around the house. Even one offer a week was the cause for a celebration. That was how I started writing. I hit writing hard and was aggressive because I knew that I had to feed my family. There was no way out. I didn't have an easy back door.
TOMORROW: BILL WINKE'S EARLY YEARS OF WRITING
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